OMB finalizes plain writing law implementation

John Buckner
Federal News Radio

The Office of Management and Budget offered more details yesterday on how agencies should implement the Plain Writing Act of 2010.

In a second memo to agency officials since President Obama signed the bill into law, Cass Sunstein, administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), outlined further steps agencies should take around training and implementing the law, and how to meet the deadlines.

Online Chat: Beth Killoran, deputy assistant secretary for Information Technology and chief information officer at HHS, on March 28.

Sunstein also sent a preliminary memo to the agency heads in November 2010 offering initial implementation guidance.


Sunstein focused on the importance of making sure employees can effectively write using plain language.

The document stated agencies should train employees with a plan that targets those who write regularly. Sunstein said the training should be in plain language and could mirror training plans provided on the Sunstein also provided some tips for integrating the new law.

“When implemented appropriately, plain writing will help your agency achieve its mission better by improving service to the public,” Sunstein wrote.

The memo details several implementation strategies including:

  • Providing incentive to promote the use of plain writing, such as challenges or prizes.
  • Engaging and collaborating with the public
  • Determining performance goals to measure progress

The memo also